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December 31, 2013
ShortFormBlog Turns Five: Stuff You Probably Shouldn’t Have Missed in 2013
Five years ago (January 1, 2009 to be exact), I was sitting in a bagel shop, staring at my laptop, ready to tell the world about this weird thing I was working on. The moment it went online, everything changed in my life, and suddenly I was running a daily news site. I kept doing it every day, and even got a couple of extra folks on board. So much has evolved—from changes in jobs and marital status, to even the primary platform I built the site on—but five years later, ShortFormBlog is a daily part of what keeps me moving each day. So, on the occasion of its fifth anniversary, I’d like to take a moment to do that thing we’re best at: Reflect on the news. Click on to read about some of the things that defined 2013.
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The year’s darkest moment came at the finish line of a foot race in Boston. It shut down a city for a full day, left many dead and injured, and led to a careless amateur manhunt that the New York Post gave careless front-page airtime. But it also brought together a city, and showed that everyday heroes are not a thing of the past. We needed the reminder.
The situation in Syria, torn asunder by years of civil war, remains a room without much light (or internet). With alliances shaky at best, compromises coming from odd circumstances (and not always followed through) and a human toll far beyond what anyone could have imagined, Syria remains a country where easy answers are far from view.
Traditional hotspots for diplomatic heartburn end the year in odd places. Light is finally shining in the cracks between Iran and the U.S., while North Korea dramatically executed a former top leader and held a senior citizen while getting tight with Dennis Rodman. Hugo Chavez is gone, and the Afghan War lingers like old laundry.
It was kind of a bad year for journalism: People got stuff wrong, other people lost access they rely on, clickbait was king, and even fake newspapers were shutting down their print editions. All of which means, of course, that journalism is ripe for parody right now. But every listicle in the world couldn’t hold back Edward Snowden this year.
And Washington: What can you say about This Town? Nothing got done, the country shut down, and Obamacare’s launch was objectively disastrous. But while 14th Street improves and former scribes drop truth bombs, is the rest of the country being left behind? Probably. Painfully.

So, that’s where we stand right now. 2013 left us a lot of drama, a lot of bad politics, and a lot of bad journalism. But it was a good year, no matter how many Marissa Mayer GIFs showed on on your dashboard in the past twelve months. Tumblr’s still here, and it’s still pretty cool. So that’s that.
As always, thanks for reading. See ya next year. — Ernie @ SFB
(photo by Wilson-Fam/Flickr)

ShortFormBlog Turns Five: Stuff You Probably Shouldn’t Have Missed in 2013

Five years ago (January 1, 2009 to be exact), I was sitting in a bagel shop, staring at my laptop, ready to tell the world about this weird thing I was working on. The moment it went online, everything changed in my life, and suddenly I was running a daily news site. I kept doing it every day, and even got a couple of extra folks on board. So much has evolved—from changes in jobs and marital status, to even the primary platform I built the site on—but five years later, ShortFormBlog is a daily part of what keeps me moving each day. So, on the occasion of its fifth anniversary, I’d like to take a moment to do that thing we’re best at: Reflect on the news. Click on to read about some of the things that defined 2013.

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19:29 // 3 months ago
October 28, 2013
10:45 // 5 months ago
October 27, 2013

ShortFormBlog goes responsive: Check out our new redesign!

So … happy Sunday night folks. Just wanted to let you all know that we’ve refreshed our design with a fully-responsive site featuring a brand-new font (Nexa Slab, for the nerdy), a RebelMouse feed off to the side, and a clean, simple interface that cuts the clutter. Let us know what you think—and if you find an issue or two. I’ve had this in the works off and on for a few months (it’s our first real redesign since moving to Tumblr roughly three years ago) and I’m sure there are things I’ve missed. Overall though, I’m psyched to show it off. Hope you guys dig! — Ernie @ SFB

19:12 // 5 months ago
October 21, 2013
A redesign sneak peek: If you have your phone handy, take a gander at the site. This will be a fully-responsive desktop site very soon, but I wanted to give you all a sneak peek of the new look on mobile. (Consider this a beta.) Only keeping this up for a few hours tonight for testing, but if you have any feedback, shoot it this way. Thanks! — Ernie @ SFB
EDIT: Took it down for now, but it’ll return soon; promise!

A redesign sneak peek: If you have your phone handy, take a gander at the site. This will be a fully-responsive desktop site very soon, but I wanted to give you all a sneak peek of the new look on mobile. (Consider this a beta.) Only keeping this up for a few hours tonight for testing, but if you have any feedback, shoot it this way. Thanks! — Ernie @ SFB

EDIT: Took it down for now, but it’ll return soon; promise!

20:15 // 6 months ago
September 13, 2013

thatssoproblematic says: This blog is a great example of new media that I share with my journalism students. Do you consider this blog a "legitimate" (for lack of a better word) journalism medium?

» SFB says: I think journalism is as legitimate as you make it. I admit I don’t have nearly the energy I did at this when I first started almost five (!) years ago, but I think that the reason it’s always been worth doing is because context and points of interest are essential.

I have a more-intensive job than I did when I started (and I’m getting married in a month—more on that later), so it’s tough to devote the time to SFB that I once did, but I think that the truth remains that journalism has to evolve its audience and reach the audience at their level.

That said, you have to be willing to keep evolving. Maybe Tumblr isn’t the end-all platform, much as I enjoy it. Maybe the future is a blog on Ghost. Maybe it’s a Rebelmouse-only site. And maybe the site takes a step away from news of the day to something else. But I think your students should be willing to pound away at whatever platform comes up and reach those people at their pace.

One more thing I’ll say: For my day job, when I interview people, the first thing I look for is social media and blogging experience. People should paint outside the lines. Because that’s where all the fun stuff happens. And if it’s done with the right intent, it’s legitimate. — Ernie @ SFB

21:35 // 7 months ago
May 22, 2013
newsweek:

In this week’s Newsweek, a little something about Yahoo & Tumblr’s marriage. And a request: “Please don’t mess with any of our favorite Tumblrs, like the beauties below.”
BEST TUMBLR FOR BREAKING NEWS: SHORTFORMBLOG 
MOST LOL-WORTHY ANIMAL TUMBLR: CATS THAT LOOK LIKE RON SWANSON
BEST CROWDSOURCED TECH TUMBLR: THE INTERNET WISHLIST 
MOST CHARMING VINTAGE-Y TUMBLR: QUESTIONABLE ADVICE AND ADVERTISEMENTS 
MOST STIMULATING ART-AND-DESIGN TUMBLR: HELLO YOU CREATIVES 
MOST GORGEOUS PHOTOGRAPHY TUMBLR: FOTOJOURNALISMUS
TRAVEL TUMBLR THAT’S ALMOST AS GOOD AS AN ACTUAL TRIP: THE TRAVEL NETWORK 
MOST POP-CULTURE-SAVVY FASHION TUMBLR: TEXTBOOK 
BEST BOYFRIEND TUMBLR: YOUR LL BEAN BOYFRIEND
Congrats everyone! Now go follow those tumblrs and get them up in yo’ dashboard. Sorry about the caps, btw, we copy/pasted straight from the website and did we feel like going through and rewriting these headilnes? No we did not. We are too busy applauding. Click through though to see what we wrote about each winner.

Here’s the full list, which we’re proud to be a part of. :)

newsweek:

In this week’s Newsweek, a little something about Yahoo & Tumblr’s marriage. And a request: “Please don’t mess with any of our favorite Tumblrs, like the beauties below.”

Congrats everyone! Now go follow those tumblrs and get them up in yo’ dashboard. Sorry about the caps, btw, we copy/pasted straight from the website and did we feel like going through and rewriting these headilnes? No we did not. We are too busy applauding. Click through though to see what we wrote about each winner.

Here’s the full list, which we’re proud to be a part of. :)

12:24 // 11 months ago
Newsweek is clearly trying to get on our good side. (Side note: Thanks, guys!)

Newsweek is clearly trying to get on our good side. (Side note: Thanks, guys!)

11:40 // 11 months ago
January 25, 2013
Our quaint little side project, DigitSlam, is RebelMouse’s Rebel of the Week
In case you haven’t seen our new RebelMouse page, DigitSlam, you should really check it out. We just got a neat little bit of recognition for it. If you like news in numbers, fast, hop over that way. Oh, and our Twitter is hopping, too.

Our quaint little side project, DigitSlam, is RebelMouse’s Rebel of the Week

In case you haven’t seen our new RebelMouse page, DigitSlam, you should really check it out. We just got a neat little bit of recognition for it. If you like news in numbers, fast, hop over that way. Oh, and our Twitter is hopping, too.

16:41 // 1 year ago
January 20, 2013
17:01 // 1 year ago
January 1, 2013
13:35 // 1 year ago